Topping the list was using a search engine to find information, with eight in 10 (81%) claiming to have done so. The next most popular activity was reading news, performed by three-quarters (76%) of consumers. Rounding out the top five activities were online banking (74%), looking up the weather (65%) and researching a product or service before buying it (63%). These activities are all inherently very practical and far more popular than other online pastimes, including watching a video clip (51%), downloading music (37%), visiting a social networking site (33%), visiting an adult-only Web site (19%) and downloading a podcast (8%).
Canadiansí top five list of online leisure activities does not differ greatly from the global list. Looking up the weather (78%), however, was second only to using a search engine (84%). Further, checking the forecast was more prevalent in Canada than in any of the other countries surveyed, reinforcing the stereotype that Canadians are obsessed with the
elements. The only other difference of note related to the use of the Internet for bill payments, with seven in 10 Canadians claiming to perform this function online, placing it within their top five activities. This activity fell outside of the top five on an overall level, with only 56 per cent of respondents across all 16 markets mentioning it.
ďThe Internet has had a profound impact on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. We go online to inform ourselves, connect with friends and family, be entertained, and make more efficient use of our valuable time. With more social and entertainment activities available online, it is also easy to understand why our lives are becoming more digital,Ē said Michael Ennamorato, executive vice president of TNS Canadian Facts and director of the firmís technology and telecommunications research practice.